BioNTech CEO Uğur Şahin says his vaccine might finish the coronavirus pandemic (Image: PA/EPA)
The scientist behind Pfizer’s breakthrough coronavirus vaccine candidate says he’s assured it will probably finish the pandemic that has killed virtually 1.3 million individuals worldwide.
Hope was revived this week when pharmaceutical firm Pfizer and German firm BioNTech introduced their joint vaccine candidate had proved greater than 90% efficient in stopping Covid-19 in interim medical trials.
BioNTech CEO Uğur Şahin, 55, has mentioned he believes his product can ‘bash the virus over the pinnacle’ and restore normality to individuals’s lives after almost a yr of tragedy and uncertainty.
Talking to The Guardian, Mr Şahin mentioned vital questions on whether or not the vaccine can cease asymptomatic infections will solely be answered by gathering extra information over the following yr – however it has already exceeded expectations.
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He mentioned: ‘If the query is whether or not we are able to cease this pandemic with this vaccine, then my reply is “sure” as a result of I imagine that even safety solely from symptomatic infections may have a dramatic impact.’
The Turkish-born immunologist added: ‘It was doable that the virus isn’t actually focused by the vaccine, finds its method into the cells and continues to make individuals sick. We now know that vaccines can beat this virus.’
Mr Şahin – who immigrated to Germany when he was 4 – has admitted he felt nervous about whether or not his product would set off a robust sufficient response within the human immune system.
A ‘nice weight fell off his thoughts’ when he was knowledgeable of the end result on Sunday night, main him and spouse Özlem Türeci, 53, BioNTech’s chief medical officer, to ‘have a good time just a little’ with a cup of tea.
Mr Şahin says he was nervous in regards to the preliminary outcomes however is now assured in his product (Credit: EPA)
A view of BioNTech Headquarters in Mainz, Germany on November 12, 2020 (Image Anadolu Company through Getty Pictures)
It’s hoped two injections of the vaccine three weeks aside might make individuals proof against coronavirus for as much as a yr – however researchers are planning to look into whether or not it really works in a different way on individuals from totally different ethnic teams.
Evaluation on whether or not it presents a unique diploma of safety to individuals from totally different age teams is anticipated again in lower than a month.
President Donald Trump has accused Pfizer of ‘not having the courage’ to launch the preliminary outcomes of the trials earlier than the US election after he misplaced the race to President-elect Joe Biden.
Mr Şahin has denied withholding data for political achieve, saying: ‘What’s vital for us is that we’re creating a vaccine and we don’t play politics.’
The scientist has acknowledged the vaccine might make his firm some huge cash after BioNTech’s shares soared following the announcement, with the full worth of its inventory at present standing at £16.6 billion.
Nonetheless, he says he is not going to cease working and never change the bike he has used to get to work for the previous 15 years.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned the nation this week it ‘can not rely’ on the hope of a vaccine to battle the pandemic and urged the general public to not change into complacent through the second nationwide lockdown.
It’s believed older care residence residents and care residence employees will likely be first to receive a vaccine in the UK, whereas well being staff will observe intently after.
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